Plants and Civilization PDF

Plants and Civilization
 
Author:
Herbert G. Baker
Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing
ISBN No:  978-1-349-00243-6
Release at: 1970
Pages: 199
Edition:
Second Edition
File Size: 18 MB
File Type: pdf
Language: English



Description of Plants and Civilization


This Plants and Civilization book is an introduction to the study of plants in relation to man. It illustrates the profound influence of plants on man's economic, cultural, and political history, as well as the steps that man has recently taken to improve chosen plants for his purposes. Although the plants that will be used in the future may be different from those currently utilized, there is little doubt that man will continue for a very long time to be utterly dependent upon the solar energy stored by photosynthesis in plant materials.

It thus remains vitally important that an appreciation of the human use of plants be widespread. Indeed,  as world population soars, wasteful methods of utilizing the photosynthetic bounty must be replaced by more conservative methods. The last chapter of this new edition of  Plants and  Civilization has been completely rewritten to emphasize how this challenge is being faced through improvements of conventional food-producing methods as well as through the development of new methods of food production.

Considerable advances have taken place in a number of other areas of man's concern with plants- notably, in their use for drug production and in the domestication of important plants in various parts of the world. The text has been brought thoroughly up to date in each of these areas,  with the addition of new illustrations. Increasing biochemical information about the plants referred to is becoming available and this is reflected where appropriate in the text; however, in a book of this size, details of plant structure and physiology cannot usually be given.  Other books in the "Fundamentals of  Botany"  series can provide additional information, and there is a comprehensive list of suggested readings at the end of this book.

Content of Plants and Civilization



1. Plants and  Prehistory,  1

2. Plants and History, 19

3. Plants  as  Stimuli  of  Exploration and  Exploitation,  29

4. Possible  Pre-Columbian Contacts  between  the  Old and  New  Worlds,  43

5. Necessities: Wheat, 63

6. Necessities: Maize, 73

7. Luxuries: Sugar, 87

8. Necessities  Again: Legumes  and  Oils,  95

9. Beverages  and  the  Emergence of  Tropical  Nations,  105

10. Fermentation,  119

11. The  Story of  Rubber, 125

12. The  Contribution of  Trees, 133

13. The  Utilization of  Drug  Plants,  145

14. Tanning  and  Decoration with  Dyes,  161

15. The  Future  of  Plants in  Relation  to  Man,  171

16. Suggestions for  Further  Reading, 183

Index,  187

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